2003 FILMS AND FILMMAKERS
The Ramones and I – Featured Documentary (7 minutes)
Rusty Nails, Chicago Music of the alternative band helps a boy cope with teenage angst. This film features rare concert footage of The Ramones. Vamos! – Best Foreign Language Film (19 minutes) Jim Dickson, Litchfield, Illinois A high school Spanish class made this film about a present-stealing Santa. In Spanish with English subtitles. Journey to Tibet – Featured Short (5 minutes) Bob Fleischer, Philadelphia, PA This mini-tour of Tibet features exotic sights and sounds along with scenes of daily life. Thank You for Coming: Burn in Hell – Best Documentary Short (26 minutes) Uta Goertzen, Chicago A theater troupe creates a state-of-the-art haunted house while training high school students to scare the hell out of patrons visiting a haunted prison. Tough All Over – Featured Comedy Short (8 minutes) Keith Brown, North Kingston, Rhode Island Sixth grade can be tough when you have a crush on a pretty classmate and she doesn’t have a clue. 18 Days 16 Hours – Best Feature Documentary (30 minutes) Bruce Borowsky, Boulder, CO Racing from London to Boston becomes the adventure of a lifetime for novice sailors. Acne - Featured Comedy (99 minutes) Rusty Nails, Chicago Corporate greed leads to an hilarious teenage malady. Penobscot Basket Makers – Best Diversity Documentary (52 minutes) Jim Sharkey, Orono, Maine Native American finds purpose and her place in life through practicing this traditional art. Traces – Featured Drama (70 minutes) Daric Gates, Chatham, Illinois Drama based on the Biblical book of Hosea proves the power of love to heal a victim of abuse. Hope’s Happy Birthday – Best Comedy Feature (90 minutes) Grace Smith, Springfield, Illinois Sheltered 30-year-old Hope meets quirky characters in her quest to find life after Springfield. Skunk Ape?! – Best Comedy Short (30 minutes) Matt & Greg Brookens, Chicago Punk rockers regret incurring the wrath of skunk ape!
Bruce Borowsky grew up in Miami Beach and went to college in San Francisco, but never sailed until he moved to Colorado. His film 18 Days, 16 Hours documents the exciting race across the Atlantic Ocean as this novice sailor learns to work, eat and sleep at extreme angles. Despite hitting a hurricane, his boat wins the race by 8 minutes. Bruce won the opportunity to sail in the race, despite his lack of experience, by winning an essay contest in a national sailing magazine. Bruce is currently a producer at Peoples Productions, a video production company in Boulder. Matt and Greg Brookens are two-time winners at the Route 66 Film Festival. Their dark comedy Of Bass and Men won the award for Best Comedy Short in 2002. Skunk Ape!?, which premiered here, won Best Comedy Short. The brothers are Springfield natives who graduated from Sacred Heart-Griffin High School and furthered their education in film at Columbia College in Chicago. They have been making films since they were six years old, but their mother Connie Brookens says they have improved a lot. Keith Brown is a native Rhode Islander who started making films as soon as he was old enough to borrow his parents’ Super 8 camera. He earned an MFA in Film Production from Boston University. His films have been screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. He is currently the creative director of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, a Rhode Island-based health research company and is a member of Roadside Pictures www.roadsidepictures.com, a Boston-based film production collaborative made up of Boston University alumni. Jim Dickson is a senior at Litchfield High School. He and his Spanish class made this film as a class project. He plans to major in film at next year when he attends college. Daric Gates is a student who filmed this project near his home in Chatham, Illinois. Update (2007): Daric has worked on numerous Hollywood films and television shows such as “Las Vegas” and “Crossing Jordan” since he moved to Los Angeles shortly after the festival. He has just completed a feature film entitled Reunited. Uta Goertzen studied cultural science with film as her main subject at the university. She filmed her first documentary about a German ice cream seller who traveled South America for 15 years taking pictures of the Mayas and their ancient cultures. Thank You for Coming is her second documentary. She also worked as a production manager for a film company in Cologne and did internships at German TV channels. She is beginning an internship at Story House Productions in Berlin. Rusty Nails is a director, writer, actor, and producer who has directed two feature films: Acne (soon to be released on VHS and DVD) and the documentary Highway Robbery, which is currently in postproduction. Rusty's production company, New Eye Films, was created during the making of Acne. Shortly after Acne's initial test screenings, Rusty began organizing the Movieside Film Festival which has toured around the country and continues to do so. Along with the festivals, he has also taught filmmaking at Chicago Filmmakers and lectures on filmmaking at colleges, universities, and high schools. In addition to filmmaker, Rusty is also a contributing writer and photographer for numerous magazines and websites. His work has been featured in Bridge Magazine, Venus, New City, Stuff Magazine, and Supersphere. Jim Sharkey, who lives in Orono, Maine, specializes in documentaries about artisans and their work. He has produced films about pottery makers in North Carolina, as well as Penobscot basket makers Barbara Francis, Martin Francis, Carole Binette and Pat Bear. He shows their craftsmanship while revealing its connection to their heritage with sensitivity and impressive cinematography. His films have been shown at the Maine International Festival and the Corvallis, Oregon Film Festival. Grace Smith wrote, directed and starred in Hope’s Happy Birthday, which was shot in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois and Austin, Texas. She was active in local theater productions until she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on television commercials, educational films and industrial videos. While living in Austin, she co-wrote the horror spoof Teenage Catgirls in Heat, which was picked up by Troma Films and released on video. Festival Committee
Linda McElroy, Director Andy Davis Meredith Dumyahn Carl Fisher Patrick Holstein Judi Mier Julianne Shoopman Marc Sigoloff Randy Soland Dawn Turner